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Taliban arrests popular Afghan professor Faizuallah Jalal

The Taliban has arrested a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, including the new rulers in Kabul.

The Taliban has arrested a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, including the new rulers in Kabul.

The Taliban has arrested a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, including the new rulers in Kabul.

Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet on Sunday that professor Faizuallah Jalal was being held by the Taliban’s intelligence arm.

The group accused the professor of “nonsense remarks on social media, which were provoking people against the government and playing with people’s dignity.”

In a tweet early Sunday, Jalal’s daughter Hasina Jalal pleaded for her father’s release. “As I confirm the disturbing news. I ask for the immediate release of my father Professor Faizuallah Jalal,” she tweeted.

TOLO TV, Afghanistan’s largest station on which Faizuallah Jalal was a frequent commentator, tweeted that Jalal was arrested “reportedly for making allegations against government departments, a security source said.”

No official response

There was no official response from the government to queries about Jalal’s arrest.

Jalal is the husband of one of the country’s first female presidential candidates, Masooda Jalal, who ran against former President Hamid Karzai in 2004.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August ahead of America’s chaotic Aug. 31 departure after nearly 20 years of war. The militant guerrillas-turned-rulers previously held power from 1996-2001.

Afghanistan faces a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, with the United Nations warning that 90 percent of the country’s 38 million people are in dire need.

The arrest of a prominent rights activist was certain to complicate humanitarian aid efforts.

It also reinforced fears that the Taliban are imposing the same harsh and repressive rule as their last stint in power before they were ousted by a US-led coalition for harbouring al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

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    Written by Ericson Mangoli

    Ericson Mangoli is a researcher and a freelancer journalist, his work has been published by African Stand, Financial Stand, African Policy, and Kenyan Report.

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